COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The three victims shot and killed in an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday have been identified as of Sunday, their losses mourned by their friends and family in vigils and on social media.
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, allegedly shot 12 people during the shooting.
Jennifer Markovsky, 35, and Ke’Arre Stewart, 29, have been identified as victims by the Joint Taskforce investigating the shooting.
Markovsky, from Hawaii, was a wife and mother of two.
Her father, John Ah-King, said in a statement: “I am in deep lost (sp) of my daughter that was killed for something so senseless, she was supporting a friend that needed help. I’m so sad and broken-hearted.”
A fundraising page in memory of Markovsky has been set up.
Broken is also how Tony Fisher says he feels after losing his friend and fellow comrade, Stewart.
“We kind of chased down terrorists and put them in their place. And Stewart was good at it you know,” he said.
Stewart served at least one tour in Iraq as an Army infantryman. Fisher was on the front lines with him.
“We’re all supposed to get old and fat and go to the VA and the VFW and drink beers and talk about war stories you know. We’re not supposed to be out living our normal lives at 29 years old and getting gunned down,” Fisher said.
Stewart was shot while at the clinic with his girlfriend. It is believed he tried to warn others after being shot.
“We’re trained in this you know, this is what we do. We chase down adversity and evil in its face and we do the best we can you know,” Fisher said.
It was around the dinner table on Thanksgiving night that Fisher last saw Stewart. Hours later, Stewart was dead. Fisher said he didn’t get to give a proper goodbye.
“I would say, I’m sorry bro. There’s a lot of other people that are sorry too,” he said.
Friends of Stewart have set up a fundraiser to offset funeral costs.
The third victim, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police Officer Garrett Swasey was identified by authorities Friday night. Swasey rushed to the clinic to offer his assistance when he got the call.
“There was no way any of us could have kept him here,” UCCS police Chief Brian McPike said. “He was always willing to go. … He had an enthusiasm that was hard to quell.”
The Melrose, Mass., native “found his calling as a police officer,” according to a statement from his family.
“Helping others brought him deep satisfaction and being a police officer was a part of him. In the end, his last act was for the safety and well-being of others and was a tribute to his life,” it said.
As of early Sunday afternoon, a fundraising page set up for Swasey’s wife of 17 years, Rachel, and his two children — Elijah, 10 and Faith, 6 — had reached more than $70,000 of a stated goal of $100,000.
The Swasey family released a statement:
The family of Officer Garrett Swasey sincerely thanks everyone for their support during this very difficult time. Our loss cannot be expressed in words. While the nation now knows Garrett as a hero who gave his life for others, he was also a devoted husband of 17 years and a wonderful father to his two children. His greatest joys were his family, his church, and his profession. We will cherish his memory, especially those times he spent tossing the football to his son and snuggling with his daughter on the couch.
Garrett was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. After a successful career in ice skating, Garrett found his calling as a police officer. Helping others brought him deep satisfaction and being a police officer was a part of him. In the end, his last act was for the safety and wellbeing of others and was a tribute to his life. What we need most today, and in the coming weeks, is your prayers for our family and for others who were impacted by this tragedy. We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love that has come from the community and across the nation.
We understand this is a public tragedy felt by many and we also appreciate your support for us to grieve privately.
Nine others, including five law enforcement officers, were injured in the attack. Four were with the Colorado Springs Police Department. One was with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. All of the injured are in good condition.
Dear is set to appear in court for the first time Monday morning.